Asia Bibi’s Lawyer and Judge Testify

Source: FSSPX News


After being released on November 7, 2018, Asia Bibi is still in Pakistan with her family, in a secret place since she is still the target of many death threats. She should soon take refuge in a western country willing to ensure her safety and offer her some respite after nine years in prison.

Two public testimonies have recently clarified this case that received world-wide media coverage.

First of all, Saqib Nisar, President of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, who presided over the board that acquitted the Christian woman on October 31, 2018. Speaking to some British deputies, he admitted that “Asia Bibi was falsely accused” and that this case “should not have lasted this long.” He also pointed out that the court’s examination of the case was delayed several times by pressure from militant Islamist groups: “The judges were threatened, and some of them refused to schedule the hearing.”

The high-ranking magistrate then gave the details that led the Supreme Court to free Asia Bibi and thus override two death sentences. First of all, the incident of the presumed blasphemy took place on June 14, 2009, and the first complaint was filed on June 19. “This delay, according to penal precedent, points to a conspiracy.” Next,

the two eyewitnesses, the two women who argued with Asia Bibi, declared that she said the blasphemous words against Mohammed in the presence of at least 25 to 30 women. However, no other woman appeared in court to support this accusation (…). One woman who testified declared that the argument had nothing to do with a well of drinkable water. But she had said the opposite during other hearings. So there was a clear contradiction (…). The eyewitnesses said that 1000 members of the village attended the assembly held in the presence of the local imams to incriminate Asia Bibi. Others spoke of 100 people, referring to another location. So there were different versions, and this goes for the length of the assembly as well.

And he concluded: “The Court, seeing many incoherencies, decided that ‘it is not possible to confirm Asia Bibi’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt’, acquitted her and ordered her to be released.

“Even after her appeals trial was lost, she did not lose hope.”

After the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan was announced, crowds of Islamists called for the acquitted defendant to be hanged and her judges and lawyers to be murdered. For three days, the country was paralyzed. The main defender of the Pakistani Catholic, Saif-ul-Malook, had to take refuge in the Netherlands. When he arrived in Europe, he was taken care of by an association for the defense of Christians throughout the world. When passing through Paris in the beginning of December, he spoke to the French press at the invitation of the association SOS Chrétiens d’Orient. He confirmed that several governments, such as Germany, the Netherlands, and France, have said they are willing to examine Asia Bibi’s asylum request. “Based on the information I have, there is a good chance she will go to Canada,” he added.

He also spoke about his client’s personality: “You see, she is a woman with no education, who lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere. She simply hopes to lead a normal existence with her family.” He told of the last time he had seen Asia Bibi, three weeks before the verdict that released her. She was “very joyful, serene, doing well. She is a very strong woman. Even though she spent nine years in a cell with no other contact but that of her jailors. That is the rule for death row.”

The lawyer added that “even after her appeals trial was lost, she did not lose hope.” How does he explain this? “I think that it is because of her strong personality and also, no doubt, her faith.” And although he presents himself as a Muslim, he told the following anecdote: “Two days before her hearing at the Supreme Court, she had a dream in which the prison doors opened. ‘It wasn’t a dream, it was a message from Jesus Christ,’ she assured me.”